’ve always had enormous respect for entrepreneurs, individuals who blaze the trail, break out of the norm and establish enterprises against all odds. The journey towards entrepreneurs is not a stroll in the park as one often encounters numerous hurdles with respect to marketing the business and getting the requisite brand visibility. The major challenge with a small startup business is how the entrepreneur can position the business and compete with competitors who at times have huge marketing budgets. Given the survival challenges entrepreneurs face, I want to provide a guide on how you can circumvent these leveraging on online channels.
Digital media channels present unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business people to market their products and services and be able to go toe to toe with big companies. As more people rely on online channels for news and updates it is vital that as a small startup business you create visibility across all online channels. In this article I want to share the “low hanging fruit” which you need to explore and immediately take advantage of.
Establish social media presence
The continued growth and adoption of social media in Zimbabwe offers exciting opportunities for anyone wanting to grow their business. If you’re a small businessperson, it’s paramount that you leverage social media platforms to grow your business, improve your visibility and ultimately create leads for your business. Get started by simply do the basics, create a Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn page for your business and start growing your fan base.
Create a Facebook page and do not use your profile to promote your business. A Facebook page is different from a personal Facebook profile and to create one you need to use your personal profile and go to create a page. The advantage of Facebook over other sites is that it allows you create a specific page in line with your business. If you’re restaurant or store you can choose the type of business you’re in and create your page like that.
Once you’ve created your page, start posting content and if you’ve a bit of money to spare, use some of that towards Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising enables you to promote your page, boost your posts and gain a sizeable following at relatively low cost and the daily budget is entirely up to you.
Having presence on Google Plus is critical simply because Google has created an ecosystem which we have become dependent on everyday of our lives. They are 99.9% chances that your potential customers are using a Google service every single day of their lives, from Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Drive and more importantly they are searching for information on Google. A Google Plus page (not profile) helps you with SEO, as customers search for products and services using keywords linked to your name, your website will come up higher in the search engine results page. We will explore this subject in greater detail later.
Twitter and LinkedIn
Zimbabwe has a sizeable number of LinkedIn users and it’s important that you establish presence. I’ve witnessed individuals who use company name in creating a personal profile when they are supposed to have a LinkedIn business page. To create a LinkedIn page go under companies in your personal profile and you will find a link to create a company page. The company page will allow you to brand, put your contacts and showcase your products and services for free. If you’re a small business, I would encourage you to harness the personal connections you’ve on LinkedIn profile and direct them to your page.
Twitter is another great social platform you need to exploit. Twitter allows you to create a profile and unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, it looks the same as a personal profile. Once you create a business Twitter page, start creating content and follow some of the renowned Twitter personalities in Zimbabwe like @263Chat.
In a nutshell, social media is low hanging fruit for your business, they are free tools, which you need to immediately make use to promote your brand and products and services. There are obviously things you need to learn to effectively use social media and here on this blog I’ve shared a couple of strategies which you can adopt.
In the next article, I will deal with some of the digital marketing tools ready for you to exploit and enhance your brand visibility. I will dissect why you need a website, a domain mailbox and other tools which you can get at a relatively low cost.